Monday, June 12, 2006



So today I find an envelope in my kid's cubby at school. A request for money so that the kids can buy their teacher a "group gift".

Fairy nuff, but the amount they're asking is $10 per kid. Um, $10 x 20 kids is $200. Does that seem like an even marginally appropriate amount for a vulgar, confrontational, relatively competent teacher?

I don't want my kid to feel left out so I'll more than likely give it. But dudes. Two fucking hundred dollars?!?

Strikes me as pretty rude. Ya think? A box of chcocolates would have done just fine.

that is a tad extreme. dear lord! I think chocolates, flowers and a card. But that might be more than she deserves.
Who is on the committee to decide these sorts of things? It certainly seems that there should be some kind of discussion as to an appropriate amount and not just a notice of you OWING ten bucks. Or owing the bitch teacher any sort of gift at all, for that matter. Wow now I'm all worked up. Why can't individual kids just give the teacher a card or make them something like we used to do in the good old days? When did it become necessary to get them extravagant gifts? Ok, find me this woman who decided a $200 gift would be just right and get me her home address. And I know it was a woman because a man wouldn't have even thought of the idea of getting any sort of gift in the first place.
It's hard to fork over the $$ when you don't care for the woman but individual gifts for under $10 are hard to find too. I'd pay the $10 just to be free of the hassle of finding something myself.

And don't want to knit a dishcloth for someone you can't stand, do you?
I really don't like the expectation of giving implied in this whole $10 for the group gift thing. Obligatory gifting situations are so annoying (like the baby shower at work for the colleague you don't like, but at least in that case you might get some cake). This is especially the case when kids are the vehicle for collecting the money. That's a lot of unnecessary social pressure. And what about the kid whose family doesn't have $10 to spare for a teacher gift? I am also completely alarmed at the $10 cost of this 'contribution.' There is plenty to be had for less than $10. One of the best gifts I ever got from a student was a Hershey Bar. If every kid in the class brought in a dollar, that would buy a $20 gift card to a bookstore or bagel shop or something. I personally think a $200 teacher gift is inappropriate. And I'm a teacher!
Buck a kid sounds good to me. Damn, when I was in school we didn't get teachers gifts...
That is the stupidest crap I've ever heard of!! I agree with the others that $1.00 per child would have been enough - I'd surely like to know what I was getting an Elementary school teacher that cost $200 if I were you.
Well, not play devil's advocate or anything, but... EVEN THOUGH you don't like the teacher, and EVEN THOUGH instead of being consulted you were just billed, basically, which is dreadfully rude...
My mom is a teacher and the idea of her kids' parents getting her a $200 gift brings tears to my eyes.
(And what's with this 20 student classroom thing, anyway? Are you communists? You should have at least 30 kids per class. Unless you're poor, then you should have 35. Or 40.)
I'm with most everyone, $10 (for a total of $200) is totally inappropriate. The "gimme" idea is a bit marginal to begin with. If I did anything, it might be to send a copy of that "request" to the principal, vice principal and the school board.

There was one year when my DD was in elementary school that the supplies list included 4 3-inch binders. Those suckers cost almost $10 US a piece. I sent a note in to the teacher saying that if she wanted them that bad to buy them herself. Not only wasn't I going to afford it but I thought it was not medically sound to have children carrying around that much weight and/or bulk.

See, you got me started. Thank goodness my DD is now looking at graduating from college next year!
Although, you could knit a dishcloth out of the itchiest stuff you can possibly find...

And you know what the trouble with a box of chocolates is, don't you? (I should never, ever have watched Forrest Gump.)
I am with you. I would be better off if the person would give a range like up to $10 or something like that.
Don't tell me what you want to get from me and then ask all of the parents in front of each other if they are going to give. It kinda puts people on the spot. Talk about akward for the person who had no intention to give until that.
I'm appalled! I can't imagine that this shakedown isn't creating a financial hardship to more tahn a few of the families.

Stand firm! Buck the system. Send a dishcloth--green!
We get hit up for Christmas donations but they give the teachers the cash, rather than a gift and, frankly, that's a big help to them. The key is that you give however much you want. It's one thing to ask for cash donations and have a suggested amount (five bucks would be more appropriate), but it's another thing to essentially send a bill when you didn't get to participate in the decision of how much to give or what to give.
I have to say, I'm a little surprised that people are so extremely against this. I will agree that $10 per student is a little much, but I'm thinking "whatever you're comfortable with up to $10" is reasonable. As a teacher, I can tell you that I spend upwards of $300 a year on stuff for the kids - notebooks, pencils, gifts, assorted craft supplies, binders, books, curriculum materials and on and on. And I work in a wealthy suburb, so I can't even imagine what other teachers are spending.

I get that you don't like the teacher at all, and that obviously happens, but I will say that I was really offended the year I got a $25 gift card when I had 22 kids. I play teacher, mother, psychologist, nurse, coach, etc to these kids all day long. I have to ask permission to pee. I get to school at 7:15 every day and leave around 5, plus weekends, while only technically getting paid for 8:20-3:00. And I certainly don't do it for the pay. Teaching is it's own reward, but fringe benefits keep all of us going. I don't want to jump down anyone throats here, but consider what this teacher does all day long.
I work in a teacher supply store here in Oregon...we have teachers come in every single night spending thier own money on room decorations, worksheet type books, planners, birthday pencils, stickers ect. Parents are often shocked at the amount of stuff teachers pay for out of thier way too low wages. HOWEVER! I would be appalled at the asking for ten bucks. Just putting in a request/offer to put together a group gift is nice, but not demanding the amount of money.
That is pretty tacky.
I wonder whether the school board knows that this is being done. I think it's just terrible that you are not really giving a gift--you are being billed. I think it's just ridiculous to feel that you "owe" the teacher anything beyond your tax dollars. You do not. You give a gift because you want to recognize the special contributions that a teacher makes to your child's life. That gift should come from the heart, and should not be in the form of cash. Next they will be sending out invoices for cripes sake. What a terrible lesson for children to learn: Rather than making something special or choosing something special, you just pay a bill. Oh, and as far as school fees go, check out whether the school can enforce those. I know that where I live, they cannot force a child to pay for a locker, or force a child to pay for home ec and sports fees. They do try to make the kids and parents think that payment is mandatory, but it is not. Neither is replacing stolen textbooks. What they want you to believe, and what is in the Education Act, are not necessarily one and the same.
$200! It's Canadian, but still! I taught for 13 years and certainly didn't get anything like that... folks are so over the top these days... I sent in a heartfelt knit scarf for the teacher son adored and a thankyou note to the teacher daughter did not... That's appropriate, I think.
I think it's inappropriate to tell people how much they're expected to contribute. Where I work whenever something is sent around to collect for a gift contribution, everyone has the chance to put in whatever amount they want (anonymously). I might put in a dollar or two. I might put in five. Depends how close the person is to me and how much cash I have on me that day. I don't think I've ever put in more than five, even for someone I really liked. I'm not made of money, and it's a group gift. They're getting money from lots of people. That's the idea.
yes, teachers spend their own money, but if they're buying for their classroom, those purchases are tax-deductable, at least in the U.S. they are, because they're "work-related expenses." My best friend is an elementary school teacher & she thinks it's GROSS that you're being expected to give anything; she says that though she appreciates the borders & starbucks gift cards she gets, she certainly doesn't EXPECT them.
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